Below are some of the questions that we have received through the web site. Below each question is our response. If you have any follow-up comments or have a question you would like to ask, please email us at and we will be sure to respond as quickly as possible.

Question from a current C (det) 123rd Marine – Nov 2010

Q: Good afternoon sir,

I was researching C 1/23, when I came across your website. I enjoy it very much, especially the stories, thank you. I was wondering which patch the unit wore during World War 2? I have seen two variations. The Blue, with Red Diamond 23, patch, and also a Orange with Red Diamond 23, patch. Can you help me figure out which patch is the appropriate one? I am currently attached to Company C (det), 1 Bn, 23 Marines, and I am very interested in its history and your website has given me that and much more. Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you sir.

C. Porterfield

A: Our unit patch worn on our dress uniform was a red diamond with a yellow or gold number 4 within the diamond.

On our dungarees and sea bags we had a stenciled marking. It was a half circle similar to the sun rising at dawn. Inside the half circle were the numbers 314. That identification was stenciled on equipment, such as the Captain's jeep.

Question from active duty GySgt – Oct 2010

Q: An email came to the website last month from a current C Co. 1/23 Marine getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. He said “we are trying to come up with a unique call sign other than Charlie and I just wondered if there was a certain call sign that was used in WWII. We would be honored to use it again if we could”. He closed his email with “thank you for your service”.

A: We found the info for him. Prior to 1938 CAST was used and then it was switched to CHARLIE.

Question from television producer – May 2010

Q: “Dear Mr. Johnson,

My name is Frederic Lumiere. I am a television producer specializing in war docs. My last series was called WWII in HD which aired on the History Channel last November. (We have verified this info and it is accurate.)

I am working on a new series and wondered if I could get some help from you or someone else at Company C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division Marine.

I have a film showing Marines in Iwo Jima on March 5th, 1945 (D+14). One of the Marines has a UNIS Code on his helmet that seems to indicate they are from the 4th Marine Division (semi circle), 23rd Regiment (3), 1st Battalion (1), Charlie co (4). I'm not sure about the 4. Is it D co or C Co?

Here are a few stills. First the marine with the UNIS Code, then the individuals we are trying to identify. We know that the letter one of the Marines is reading says "My darling Ray". Ray is the man sitting in front of the rock wall.

I appreciate your help tremendously. Feel free to call me or have anyone call me anytime.

My best,

Frederic Lumiere

A: We may have identified the Marine in the picture as Rafael Mercado of D Company from the red 1943 Camp Pendleton yearbook.